Thursday, June 03, 2010

Back in Business

People! My back? Was seriously messed up. Like, I've been walking around with a zig-zag running through my spine for who knows how long.

I started seeing a chiropractor about three weeks ago for a lower back/hip pain that turned out to be caused by the left side of my pelvic bone tilting way forward. I might have mentioned that I'm terrified by the idea of chiropractics. The whole concept of popping bones--and please, not just any bones; bones that come in contact with my SPINAL CORD--is horrifying to me. Please please don't compare it to cracking knuckles. One wrong crack of my knuckles is not going to render me brain dead or paralyzed from the shoulders, chest or waist down. One wrong crack of my vertebrae? Maybe a bit more likely (have you SEEN Lethal Weapon, people? Mel Gibson kills bad guys left and right by just giving them an overly vigorous "adjustment". Ohdeargod, the humanity!)

And let me say, yes, I know I've already talked about all this. But this is how much it freaks me out. I neeeeeed to talk about it again.

So I was skeptical. In that I wanted to believe it wouldn't work so that I didn't have to subject myself to the popping and the cracking. But I also figured, "hey, it's a lower back pain. He'll most likely be adjusting my lower back to alleviate the pain. So, you know, less chance for that whole snapping my head off type of adjustment."

And it worked. Not completely at first. Each adjustment of my lower back (and I only yelled out loud during that first one, thank goodness) made my back feel a little bit better, for a little bit longer. As of today, I've not thought about my lower back in a full week. Which is amazing, especially considering 2 hours after my last lower back adjustment, I was lurching to and fro on a San Francisco street car with a 4 year old on my lap. Excellent.


On my initial visit to the chiro (who, can I just say, is also a master at jujitsu--this frightens me and somehow makes me feel like is also more capable, at the same time), he found another spot where my spine was out of alignment. Higher up. Like bottom of the neck/top of the back. He pushed gently on the spot, I recoiled and he said, "I thought so," and asked me about numbness in my left extremities. For the past year, I have been experiencing, on & off, weird numbness in my three middle left fingers. It comes and goes--it will be gone for months at a time, and then for a month, I will randomly feel the numbness. At first I thought I was having a heart attack. But after awhile of it, with no chest pain or anything else remotely indicating a heart attack, I simply started ignoring it (by the way---awesome job on the "wait and see" approach when it comes to life threatening medical concerns, though. Bravo, Sarah).

So I knew this day was coming. The day we were going to have to declare my lower back pain resolved (at least for now; I imagine at some point that left pelvic bone will go a'roaming again) and move up the spine to the pinched nerve causing the numbness. Right at the base of my neck. You know, that part you try to protect when you hear a loud noise by bringing your shoulders up? Yeah. That part.

Fortunately, the past three weeks have helped build up my trust in this guy; if he'd gone after my neck in the first week, I think I'd have ended up in the ER with a panic attack masquerading as a full-blown cardiac event. But he hasn't killed or permanently maimed me yet. So I trust him. And the adjustment today was quicker, and less jarring than the ones in the three previous weeks. "Smaller bones," was his explanation. Smaller, but because of their proximity to my ears? Much louder. I have to say, I don't like the 'louder' part of it one bit.


Oh my goodness, people. My range of motion? I feel like a freaking owl compared to an hour ago. I cannot wait to see how much better I am at my yoga class tomorrow, what with all this crazy normal range of motion I've got now.

Also? Before the adjustment, when I tilted my head back, I was literally resting my head on those two vertebrae like a pillow (a hard, bony pillow) b/c they were slightly hunching up and out of my back. I didn't realize that was a problem. Let me take a moment to be the first to say to myself, "DUMB-ASS! YOU SHOULD NOT BE RESTING YOUR HEAD ON VERTEBRAE IN YOUR BACK!" Okay. I feel better now.

Now when I put my head back, what do you know? It goes all the way back. Halle-freaking-luiah! What a relief!

Today, before the adjustment, he found another spot that needs tweaking. This time its IN MY NECK. And so it starts, all over again....have you seen what they do to the bad guys in action movies?


Becca said...

"I feel like a freaking owl compared to an hour ago" LOL!!!!

Glad you are feeling better. I have a massage on Saturday (birthday present), so I am doing lots of extra lifting and bad posture so I can get the most I can out of it.

W.C.Camp said...

Congrats on the back relief. My wife is the same way. One snap, crackle, or pop from a joint or a knuckle and she'll go running for the cereal in the pantry. Stay healthy and try a slightly elevated sling for neck stiffness but no more than 10 minutes at a time. W.C.C.

lonek8 said...

this post cracked me up. no pun intended. unless you like puns in which case I totally meant it. I like puns too. And I am really wanting to find myself a chiropractor now because I definitely have some wonkiness going on back there. ha! Another pun. I'm on a roll